By: General Joseph Dunford Jr.
At a time when our country seems more divided than ever, we must unite on the issues that are critical to our nation’s future and security. One of those issues is technology. Technology is more than just another sector of the economy, it is the backbone of our national security, economy and our core values. Effective deterrence, and winning the next fight if deterrence fails, will depend in large part on whether we maintain our technological edge.
As someone who has dedicated his career to defending American interests at home and on the battlefield, who has studied our nation’s adversaries, and who has publicly criticized America’s tech sector when warranted, I offer our policymakers a set of principles to guide their thinking on technology issues.
First, we must defend the ability of American companies to compete globally on a level playing field. This will fortify our ability to develop key strategic technologies. Although the U.S. has led the world in technological innovation since World War II, our continued leadership is no longer assured. China is aggressively seeking to surpass U.S. capabilities in advanced dual-use technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and quantum computing. America’s private sector, which now provides many of the military’s critical technologies, faces a range of protectionist policies from both Asia and Europe, including market access restrictions, the use of antitrust law to promote industrial policy, and even outright theft of intellectual property. I applaud those in Congress and the administration who are fighting for fair treatment for U.S. companies abroad.